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Arlington Heights, IL property crime defense attorney

There are multiple crimes that can fall under the category of property crime. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), property crimes include burglary, theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson. The latest statistics from the FBI estimate that there were nearly 7.2 million property crimes committed in the United States in 2017. In Illinois, property is defined as “anything of value,” meaning property crimes also include offenses that involve deception, fraud, plus damage and trespass to real property. Although it may seem like property crimes are not as serious as other criminal acts, they can carry significant consequences.

Burglary

If a person has knowingly or without authority entered a building, home, dwelling, motor vehicle, or aircraft with the intent to commit a felony or theft, then that person has committed burglary. There are a variety of actions that could encompass burglary, but most commonly, burglary charges stem from a person taking or attempting to take property from inside a structure. Burglary is almost always a felony charge. If you do not cause damage to property, you will be charged with a Class 3 felony, facing a possible sentence of two to five years in prison. Likewise, if damage is caused to property, charges are increased to a Class 2 felony, which carries a sentence of three to seven years in jail.

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Arlington Heights retail theft defense lawyer

In the grand scheme of things, retail theft is a relatively minor crime--but it is still a crime. In many cases, retail theft is a misdemeanor charge in Illinois, but it can elevate to a felony charge in certain situations. What many people do not know is that retail theft is not just simply taking something from a store without paying for it. You can be charged with retail theft for a variety of different actions, which also determine the type of charge and the applicable penalties if you are convicted. 

General Retail Theft

When most people think of retail theft, they probably think of the type of theft that is defined under the Illinois Criminal Code. According to Illinois law, general retail theft occurs when a person takes possession of, carries away, transfers, or aids in the transferring or carrying away of merchandise without paying for the products and with the intention of depriving the store of its use or benefit. Retail theft is a Class A misdemeanor, as long as the value of the allegedly stolen merchandise does not exceed $300. If the merchandise is valued at more than $300, then the charge is elevated to a Class 3 felony. A repeat offense of retail theft is also an elevated charge and is classified as a Class 4 felony.

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Arlington Heights, IL Theft Lawyer

In casual conversation, robbery, theft, and burglary may seem synonymous, but in the criminal justice system, they are not. Robbery, theft, and burglary are three different charges that have very different consequences. 

Most people know these crimes all involve taking property that belongs to someone else, but there are various behaviors that constitute each offense. If you face robbery, theft, or burglary charges, it is important to understand the differences.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_566889343.jpgIn the event you, a friend, or family member is detained for suspicion of theft, it is important to understand the variables that might impact how law enforcement and prosecution might consider proceeding. Having a basic understanding of theft laws in this state might be of an advantage.

Misdemeanors and Felonies

In general, grand theft is a more serious charge than petty theft—usually applicable when a person is alleged to have stolen money or property of a higher value.  In most states, grand theft is a felony and petty theft is a misdemeanor. In Illinois, a defendant can face an array of charges depending on the value of what is taken and the circumstances surrounding the incident. Classifications include:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Untitled-design-34.jpgSometimes it starts on a dare when someone is very young. Other times, one begins shoplifting because they need some kind of thrill in their life. Whatever the reasons, shoplifting is not only illegal but results in millions of dollars in both loss to retailers and legal expenses every year.

What Exactly is Shoplifting?

Some people try to downplay shoplifting by suggesting it is a minor offense that involves taking just small items without paying for them. However, shoplifting is just another term for both “theft” and “larceny” and under certain circumstances could result in harsh penalties for repeat offenders. It should also be made clear that switching price tags or attempting to return an item taken from the shelf for store credit also fall within the definition of shoplifting.

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